2019 Lesson 3: Everyone is thinking “me! me! me!”

Tobi Olabajo
Dec 30, 2019 · 4 min read

I got more friends in 2019 than ever before and you will know why by the time you are done with this article.

Exactly a week ago from the date I am writing this, I was travelling by bus and while we going, our bus had some issues and we had to stop a little. During this stop, for some reason I began interacting with the lady seated by my left. I asked her what she did and she told me she was a health science lecturer in a private university. I told her what I did as well and after a while our conversation drifted to the thesis she did back at school. Her thesis — which we were talking about — was on how to manage epilepsy, and since a couple of years back I had read so many things on this and how the brain works in general, I was able to have a very intelligent conversation with her on this and just like every interesting conversation — we digressed and started talking about the state of research in Nigeria. How it wasn’t very vibrant and how it was probably not going to become vibrant for a while because of the very weak financial incentive.

I told her I was passionate about this and was looking forward to investing heavily in this in the future. As we talked, there was a very young intelligent girl seated by my right who has been listening to all our conversation.

As I and the lecturer paused for a minute, the girl by my right jumped in and asked me a question almost immediately — as if she has been praying for a break all along. I answered and things took off, we left that and she started asking me career related questions. I tried my best to be humble and talk very quietly since this was a public bus but just like every mentor and mentee conversation, you tend to drop a hint of your life and all you have achieved. Like I said, I was talking very quietly but somehow people were listening and I said something and then a man (older) in the front row said he was very interested in all I have been saying. And almost immediately, everyone eyes in the bus were on me and 5 people (in a bus of 9) requested for my phone number.

Why did they do this? You probably know why already. I sounded like someone worth being friends to. All through the year this happened to me. People gave me things. People checked on me — because they felt I am (or could be) of value to them now and in the future. As the year went on and on, I figured the reason people did this.

People did this because everyone wants to win. “This person sounds like he is serious about life, if he succeeds he could be of help to me, let me connect with him” was probably the silent voice playing in the head of all the people that asked for my number in that bus.

Everyone does this, including myself. I exchanged number with the Lecturer almost immediately. Why? Because she was a Lecturer, I could use her influence for myself or for my friends and relatives. This may sound like everyone is selfish and yes everyone actually is selfish but this is not necessarily bad and I ask that you do not hate this.

Everyone is always asking themselves “What is in it for me” or to emphasize this a bit more. Everyone is a subscriber to the WIII FM radio station (wiifm means “what is in it for me”).

Before the girl gives you a yes; before the guy asks for your number; before the boss gives you the job; before you get the contract; before people favor you — They first ask “What do I stand to gain from this.”

If a poor person you know ask you for 1000 recharge card and Dangote (Africa richest man) asks you for 1000 recharge card. You are more likely to give Dangote (even though you know he can afford it comfortably) before giving the poor man. Why? Because of what you stand to gain from Dangote.

You can hate this. You can hate humanity for this or you can ingrain this and act on it because this is life and this is how it works here.

This lesson strengthened my resolve to become more valuable and I hope it strengthens yours too in 2020.

In 2020, become smarter, wealthier and indispensable and attract all you need in life.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Habit Coach. Inverse Paranoid. Founder, Picsible

More From Medium

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade